Last week, three of ARRM’s legislative priorities received a hearing in the House Human Service Policy committee. Bills heard include:
- · AOST Licensing Requirement Changes (HF 339)
- · IHST Service Changes (HF 716)
- · Workforce Recruitment and Retention Grants (HF 813)
Each bill had good discussion and general support from committee members. All three bill were re-referred to the Human Services Finance Committee where they are awaiting a second hearing. You can view the full hearing here.
ARRM also submitted this letter last week to leadership in the House and Senate in response to the Paid Family Leave legislation (HF 2/SF 2) that continues to move through the House and Senate. The letter outlines the unique challenges that providers have in our inability to increase revenue when new expenses are mandated on provider organizations. As a result of the letter, ARRM and MOHR leadership met with Sen. Alice Mann, Chief Author of the legislation in the Senate. We had a good meeting, and we are hopeful that we will be able to work together to ensure that this important benefit is available to employees and at the same time, waiver service providers have resources to cover the increased cost to their organization.
I have been receiving a couple questions about the status of the Caregiver Stabilization Act (SF 7/HF 32) and how that legislation compares to the Best Life Alliance legislation (HF 999/SF1015). The Caregiver Stabilization Act was introduced at the beginning of session and contains many provisions that were carried in the Senate Human Service Omnibus during the 2022 legislative session. Among other provisions, the bill does contain changes to the DWRS that are also carried in the BLA bill, including an increase to the Competitive Workforce Factor and moving up the next inflationary adjustment. The biggest difference between the two bills is the data that is used for making the inflationary adjustment; the Caregiver Stabilization Act continues utilizing older when making every other year adjustments while the BLA requires most recently available data to be used. As we continue to move through session, the Caregiver Stabilization Act is yet to receive a hearing in the House and we encourage ARRM members, when speaking to their legislators, to support the Best Life Alliance legislation and continue to emphasize the critical need for ongoing increased investments in wages for Direct Support Professionals.
Looking ahead to this coming week, ARRM’s AOST Licensing legislation and our ICF rate legislation has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Human Service Committee on Wednesday, February 15th at 3:00 pm.
Finally, now that all of ARRM’s legislative priorities have been officially introduced in both the House and Senate, our legislative agenda is updated with bill numbers. You can download the updated document here.
Please reach out with any questions.
--Sara Grafstrom, Director of State and Federal Policy